Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One more

As a Phillies fan, of course, I'm happy.

We won.

Now, we have to do it again.

This is not easy, but this is the task before the Phillies.

Cliff Lee again did a good job, and Chase Utley again reminded Brian Cashman why he's going to write a very big check to acquire him as a free agent in a few seasons.

For now, though, he's a Phillie.

And so, we move to NYC.

What should the discerning fan have noticed tonight?

First, the Phillies offense came alive, but Ryan Howard remained silent. At his best, Howard can carry a team for weeks on his offense. His continued struggles are not good, but they also give hope because when he comes alive, it will matter.

Second, the top of the order came alive. Chooch is amazing. Pedro Feliz can hit a fastball as far as almost anyone (except Howard) in baseball, but it's the top of the order that makes this offense run, and tonight for the first time, the top of the order came alive.

Third, Lidge is out. This had to happen, but it's not easy or obvious. Charlie Manuel is a great manager, and a huge part of what makes him great is his ability to put people in positions they are used to where they can succeed. That's what Charlie does. He doesn't ask people to do things they aren't comfortable with.

He decided to remove Lidge from the closer role, and he's not coming back.

Fourth, Utley's refusal to accept a curtain call. As depressed as I was this morning (and the entire city felt the same way), I was never concerned about how the people in the Phillies clubhouse felt. I knew that they'd come out ready to play. And when Chase Utley tied Reggie Jackson's record for home runs in a World Series but refused to take a curtain call, he sent a message to the rest of team. Depression is for pussies. He wants to win, and the rest of the team agrees.

This ain't over. No need to take a bow.

So, on to New York.

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